Metro Detroit nonprofit wants app for kids to report bullying
Defeat The Label, a metro Detroit agency, plans to continue its goal of promoting a bully-free society by putting a new app in the hands of students that would enable them to report bullying anonymously.
Ryan Feldman will be a senior at West Bloomfield High School and is volunteering with Defeat the Label. Feldman said he was bullied at young age at the bus stop, and didn't know how to deal with it then.
"I would often times tell my mom I was going to the bus stop, and I would go home to just hide in my room, and wait for her to go to work," Feldman said.
According to its website, Defeat the Label is an organization that works to create awareness of bullying issues in students through school awareness programs, community outreach, special events and the implementation of the Anti-Defamation League in-school curriculum.
Feldman is one of many young men and women in a video that promotes the development of a new app that could help children report bullying.
"I think that the app is a fantastic idea, and I think that it would definitely help anyone who's going through this, " Feldman said.
Jamie Greene Kaniarz is the executive director of Defeat the Label, and is working with Brilliant Chemistry in Royal Oak to create the free app.
"The app would be an anonymous bully reporting app, that would allow students to report when a bullying incident took place, " Greene Kaniarz said.
Greene Kaniarz said the app will include information on where the bullying took place, what time it took place, and what kind of bullying occurred, which will be immediately shared with the schools so that way they can take action.
Carl Rundell is partner at Brilliant Chemistry, and believes this is the most effective way to reach and help kids.
"How do kids communicate today? You know, their on apps. Their on Facebook, their on Twitter, their on all these other types of social medium," Rundell said.
Kevin Epling is also a supporter of the app. He speaks about his son, Matt, who committed suicide after being bullied, in the video.
"If we would have had something like this when Matt was around, it could have made a difference," Epling said in the video.
Feldman says he thinks that an app will give kids who are being bullied a way to talk about what's happening, even if they're scared.
"I feel like a lot of kids internalize it because they don't have anyone specific to turn to, because they don't really know who to trust. They don't want to be a snitch, because if they tell their parents, they know their parents are going to get involved, " Feldman said.
Students that want to further get involved with the movement to end bullying, can also get involved by taking an online pledge against bullying on Defeatthelabel.com.
"The loudest, and the clearest voice, is that of the students. They make the biggest difference. So take the pledge, go online, find out what you can do to get involved, we want your input, we want your ideas, your as big of a part of this as anybody else is, " Greene Kaniarz said.
Defeat the Label says they also want the app to connect kids with a trained counselor if they need to talk to someone right away.
The nonprofit agency is currently trying to raise $200,000 for the app to be developed.
According to Rundell, they hope to have the app ready for students to use when the school year begins in the fall. Defeat the Label is accepting donations in effort to launch the app as soon as possible,
"Donate into the next generation. Let these kids let us help them and empower them to let them make the difference. It's going to start with them, " Rundell said.
For more information on what the app could do, click here.